Despite their name, bed bugs do not only live in beds. They will take up residence anywhere in a home that provides access to a warm-blooded host, although they do generally prefer soft areas, such as in cushions. Once inside a home, bed bugs will also move around it very easily. After finding a bed bug infestation, many people simply move the mattress or other piece of furniture to another room, such as in the basement. Unfortunately, bed bugs will simply move from the room they were moved to back to where the host is located.
It is important to note that a bed bug infestation does not mean the home is dirty or unsanitary. Bed bugs only want shelter that provides regular access to a food source.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
Certain pests are not only an annoyance, but they also pose a real risk to human health. For example, mosquitoes are known to carry and transmit diseases, including West Nile and the Zika virus. Bed bugs can carry disease, but they do not transmit any diseases to humans. Still, their bites are very itchy and pose a risk of infection, particularly if someone scratches them excessively. Some people do this while they are still sleeping, and they do not even realize they are hurting themselves. In rarer cases, people are allergic to bed bugs, which can have very harmful effects.
The biggest risks associated with bed bugs is that they can make it very difficult for people to get a good night’s sleep. If the problem is left untreated for a long time, the lack of sleep can cause many health problems. Some of these include heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
How to Detect Bed Bugs
Bed bugs generally prefer to stay in the nooks and crannies of furniture, where they are very difficult to spot. However, there are some signs you can look for when you suspect you have a problem. The first sign of bed bugs is usually the itchy, red welts they leave behind after feeding. While the bites are relatively small, they usually appear in a pattern or a line of three bites.
If you wake up with bites, you should check around the mattress and box spring of your bed. While looking for the bugs, you should also look for spots that are red or rust-colored. These spots form when bed bugs are crushed within the future, usually as a result of the host moving in their sleep.
Like many insects, bed bugs molt as they move through their different stages in life. When they do, they leave behind exoskeletons, which are hollow papery shells. Seeing these around your bed, other furniture, or elsewhere in the home is a sign that you may have bed bugs.